Mastering the art of sword fighting is a demanding journey. It takes a great deal of practice and years of experience to use the sword in the best possible way. Even then, you never know when you make a trivial mistake. To better understand sword fighting techniques, it’s important to take a look at the fundamental principles.
Sword Fighting Principles
Physical Training: When we talk about the physical strength of our ancestors, they were the toughest creatures on Earth. Therefore, its crucial to focus on overall physical conditioning especially the back, abdomen, and of course strong wrists.
Trick: If you choose to fight fair, you are more likely to get yourself killed in no time. In ancient times, foul play was a common technique many sword fighters follow.
Confidence: Prepare your soul to be rough and tough.
Psychological Wellbeing: Focus on multiple mental aspects such as calmness or awareness.
Sword Fight Pattern: If you are following a certain pattern of using a sword, your opponents can quickly figure it out. Consequently, there is more probability of losing a battle.
Time and Distance: You may consider it quite simple yet the effectiveness cannot be overlooked. The perfect sword move is at the right time and appropriate distance to inflict maximum damage.
Caution: Overconfidence is no less than poison. You should have the basic common sense of not underestimating the enemy. You never know the trick!
If you are following these principles in a sword fight, you will probably accomplish the victory. These principles were designed several hundreds of years ago in the world of sports. Though even today they are just timeless and applicable in most situations. These are simple techniques to learn while a few others will be gradually understood with trial & error.
Important Sword Fight Directions
Stand Face Forward
Define the four quadrants including north, south, east, and west. Next, understand the other four sub-quadrants commonly known as octants. These include northwest, northeast-southwest, and southeast. You should know all of these directions on your fingertips. In total, they make up eight ways that mean you have eight different ways to employ your sword fighting techniques.
When it comes to a suitable standing position, keep the right foot forward and left foot in the backward direction. The distance between the two feet should be neither very less nor far. Subsequently, take a step with the right foot along bringing the left foot. You are moving towards the north.
Evaluate your stance using minimal effort and turn towards the strong side. This turn will require minimal effort compared to the weaker or non-dominant side. On the contrary, you will have a weak-side turn or back-turn. Once your right foot is in the forward direction, you should pivot back to the left and repeat the same for opposite positioning.
Zango and Hachi
Step in using the leading foot and turn backward in the original direction. This is referred to as Zango. Here you go with the two directions of movement. In this way, you can execute sword techniques in the other eight directions. Get yourself moving on a strong edge pivot to three. It will primarily redirect you to the north. The directions including 5,6,7 and 8 are somewhat different. From the position 4, turn 45 degrees to your dominant side by slipping your back foot. Perform Zango and the same goes for 7 and 8. Once you hit 8, you can conveniently go back to 1. Practice it as much as possible. If you are looking forward to some more exciting ideas, you may want to go backward instead of forward. The optimal combination of both results is another popular technique – Hachi Kata.
What About Posture?
Proper posture is an important component of the martial arts that you can learn from the movements of the professionals. If you are not following up on the right posture techniques, you are more likely to get bound to weak points. This can even result in poor musculoskeletal alignment and injuries. Make sure to have adequate posture training.
Fundamental Attack Moves and Defense
You will often come across 8 different angles with a sword including straight up and down, diagonally up to the right and left, diagonally down to the right and left, and diagonally up to the left and right strikes horizontally. From the theoretical point of view, all of these angles are possible. Yet, there are many variations when it comes to attacking angles.
According to many ninja or martial arts specialists, to win a sword fight you should perhaps choose an offensive approach instead of waiting for the time to do a counter-attack. It’s better to use your unpredictable moves first and do not give the opponent any change to trick your gameplay. At the same time, you should understand the fact that no matter how proficient you are on the offense you need to employ defensive moves at one point or another. Here we have listed a few major counters. Let’s take a look!
- Prolong the arm outwards and keep it away from the body. That way, you can deflect the downward diagonal cuts or high horizontal attacking anywhere from left to the right.
- Any attack from right to left can be deflected by swaying the arm across the body.
- If you are encountering any diagonal rising cuts, low horizontal attacks, or cuts focused to the right leg, you can simply drop the sword in the downward direction and brace it with sufficient space for absorbing the blow impact.
- On the contrary, low attacks from the left side of the body can be blocked by revolving the wrist so it stays outward and sweeps the attack apart.
Martial arts are practiced by Samurai across the world in many forms. The art has been innovatively created, adapted, and perfected to date. From unarmed combat techniques to dynamic sword fighting strategies, the more you explore the better you will learn. To know more about the weapons in demand for martial arts, you may want to take a look at A Little About Martial Arts Weapons.